There are many ways to learn about the world around us. We can experience it ourselves or we can read about it from other people who have pushed the boundaries of knowledge to fill in a few more pages of what we know about natural history.
Some explorers wanted to be the first to go where no human had ever gone. Some wanted to show natural wonders to those sitting in the comfort of their daily lives. Other researchers teased out threads of the story of evolution from fossils or even models. Some just needed to make a living from the widespread curiosity that people had about nature.
Here are a few vignettes from 1914 in the field of natural history, taken from the archives of Scientific American.
You can explore the Archives back to 1845 at http://www.scientificamerican.com/magazine/sa/